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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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widely known that a substantial proportion of the effort and money devoted to primary education is wasted. High repeater rates, nonattendance rates, and dropout rates mean that many primary school enrollees do not become even functionally literate. Poor physical facilities, poorly trained teachers, rote learning, and irrelevant courses are only too common. Funds are scarce. In West Pakistan, the total cost of primary education per child per year around 1965 was 90 cents. "Of this sum," says Curie, "an amount less than 5 cents is spent on all such things as paper, equipment, chalk, teaching aids, books. The equivalent figure for a representative American suburban area is $30—at least 600 times as much. In East Pakistan things are even worse" (7).
It is reasonable to assume that popular pressures and perhaps questions of international prestige make some governments answerable regarding the expansion of school places but not regarding the quality of education provided. (After all, parents with little or no school experience themselves have little basis for evaluating the standard of education their children are receiving.) Furthermore, statements on record by ministries of education and by well-placed educational planners lament a deterioration in the quality of education.* From them one can infer that educational quality has been a frequent casualty of the rapid growth of educational systems in less developed countries.
In other countries education has been a casualty of political upheavals. Both China and Indonesia have seen the virtual abandonment of formal education for periods of a year or more during times of political unrest: in Indonesia, in late 1965 and early 1966, and in China during the period of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1968.
Financial Obstacles
The need to raise quality while the drive toward universal education continues is the challenge of the next decade. The obstacles are formidable, the most important being finance. A recent study indicates that educational costs
*A number of examples may be cited. The Commission on National Education in Pakistan (1959) stated bluntly that "there can be no doubt that as a consequence of unplanned expansion without adequate funds the system of secondary education has internally collapsed" (8).
A more recent official publication of the Ministry of Education in Pakistan discusses the rapid expansion of education, then adds: "But progress at this pace has its price. . . , to restore standards that may have temporarily fallen in the process is one of the major tasks and challenges we have to face" (9).
The Secretary-General of the Korean Federation of Education Associations, in a recent paper, states: "However, as critics have repeatedly pointed out, it is undeniable that, although Korean education has drastically expanded in quantity during the past two decades, qualitative expansion during the corresponding period fell fur short" (10). Sec also (11).
Educators in Zambia conceded that standards fell drastically in the rush to expand education following independence in 1964. The Education Minister recently stated, "We in stvlp. of livino nnH tVip.rpfnrp nrp nrp«nmali1\/ m^et inhe predominantly male rural-urban migration, in the multilingual character of the society, in the existence of polygamy, and